Tuesday, August 09, 2005

the body of christ

whoa. i go away for a week and the emergent royalty visit my blog - shocking really. i never imagined that my words would have been considered flames, and for that i am so very sorry. it was my intention to write to doug, tony and brian mclaren before i left, but ran out of time. i want to dwell in the emotion that this created, both for me, and the reactions to my words, because i truly believe that this is the crux of the issue.

my heart longs to have people like doug and tony understand my pain because i am truly an emergent fan. i am not someone who is a critic or opposed to emergent, it is very far from the truth. what i want them to understand is that i have been following the conversation since it's infancy and have pinned much of my hope on them getting this right.

as i spoke with my friend anj today she reminded me of a conversation we had last summer when i told her how important it was to me for this (emergent) to work. i truly believe that jesus would not have called the church his body here on earth if it wasn't meant to work, to look like him and to be the instrument for change in this world. i have a love/hate relationship with the church and know that when it works it's like nothing else on earth, but when it wounds it wounds more deeply than any other institution because it involves our souls.

my soul has been squelched by the church for as long as i can remember. i will be 40 in october and i have never wanted anything more than use my gifts in the church. you see i was raised plymouth brethren, in the same 'denomination' as brian mclaren. i have a deep love for theology and am gifted in very non-traditional female areas. nothing has wounded me more deeply (and i have been raped) than the lack of openness by the church to me as a woman and as a person in the body of christ. nothing.

i have pinned my hopes on this 'converstion' because i know brian's past**, and i know he has a wife who had to endure much of what i endured growing up. i so long for someone to finally get it - to treat women like jesus did. how can the embodiment of jesus on earth abuse women when he never did? it makes no sense to me.

i know there were women at the round table - i read ivy's post and know there were others there. i am not anonymous in the traditional sense of an anonymous blog - people know who i am, and i will gladly answer any emails mailed to me in my real name. i am just trying to fly under the google radar so that my husband's (former) position at his church was not put into jeopardy because of my blog. i have met tony at nywc and have read your books (brian's and doug's too) - i am a supporter. that's why this kind of thing hurt so badly.

maybe you don't understand the power that you weild? maybe you don't see the weight of things like 'hazel eyes' being thrown around so innocently as marginalizing the wounds that many of us have suffered at the hands of the church. our pain is real. hearing our stories instead of judging us immediately will go far further in your attempt to create a place of diversity.

i long to hear your stories, and hope that mine will someday be heard too.

please forgive me if verbalizing my frustration seemed like flames, i didn't mean it to be so - i thought the article was really great, it was just that line 'hazel eyes' took me back years to a place i really thought this conversation had past.

peace and hope to the future doug and tony - thank you for the work you are doing for the conversation.

**update - 08-10-05 - please know i wasn't assuming i 'knew brian' - just his denominational past with the brethren - i am reading his story here and see grace's history is not in the brethren church, so maybe his sympathy of other women (maybe his mother included) might allow him sympathy with my own story. please know i meant no illusion that we were familiar or even have met.

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